The African centre for trade and development (ACTADE) on Thursday issued a report with a stern warning to perpetrators of domestic violence against women and children during the COVID-19 period which may result into a deadly pandemic than Coronavurus.
Winnie Muwanguzi, programmes director African centre for trade and development (ACTADE) told this website that there has been an increase in gender-based violence (GBV) as the country is under lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Some of these cases have already claimed lives of Ugandans even before COVID-19 does so,” Muwanguzi said, noting that between March 30 and 28 April, a total of 3,280 cases of GBV were reported to police.
This is in addition to 283 cases of Violence Against Children and according to the ministry for gender labour and social development while speaking at the labour day Hon Frank Tumwebaze said that those found guilty would face the law.
“These acts of violence degrade the dignity of humanity and are therefore unacceptable. The perpetrators of this vice must be dealt with decisively and in a timely manner in accordance with the law,” the minister said.
However, in March this year, President Yoweri Museveni declared a total lockdown as one of the measures to control the spread of the deadly virus and the current period has become a double pandemic for women and girls.
SURVEY OF THE REPORT.
Following the theme of this year, “Address violence within families”, ACTADE has gone deep in 8 districts of Uganda including, Butambala, Mubendde, Miryana, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Kyankwanzi, Kiboga and Gomba to support families that are currently experiencing Gender based violence (GBV), with a team of 363 civic educators working in selected sub counties across the 8 districts, ACTADE found out that cases of rape and defilement are increase aid to lockdown due to Covid-19
In the survey report Winnie Muwanguzi adds that biological fathers, stepfathers are increasingly reported to defile their own children.
“Some cases in particular was of a debtor who had agreed with the child’s father to ‘use’ his 13-year old in case the father failed to pay. Worse still, many are not reporting to the police because some victims have not been helped, or are compromised by the perpetrators,” she said.
She added that most of the witnessed cases were brought about by men who are not working due to the lockdown. It was reported in various places, that some men, when asked for home consumption items like soap, salt, food, to mention but a few, they become enraged due to the fact that they don’t have the money to buy things.
“Poverty was also one of the reported causes of GBV. A case in point was report of a pregnant mother who was severely beaten by the husband for failing to fetch 25 jerry cans of water that could help him make bricks. This case was picked from Kasambya village in Mubende district. She nearly lost her life if community members did not intervene quickly.
“We are witnessing male supremacy in some of these areas. Some men simply do not want to be educated by ladies. Where an intervention is led by a female, even if the issue at hand is resolved, it leaves bad taste in the men’s mouth” Said Muwanguzi
However much the country continue facing the lockdown due to Covid-19, Muwanguzi says men and women should accept the realities presented by the pandemic. They should spend time talking through things to come up with working solutions.
“President Museveni should come out clearly on the subject to discourage GBV and to encourage better communication within households and police should provide a conducive environment for victims of GBV to report cases and ensure that they are followed up for justice.